Educational reforms and coping strategies under the tidal wave of marketisation : a comparative study of Hong Kong and the mainland

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Journal article

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Comparative Education

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It has been a global trend, since the 1980s, that the process of marketisation has been influential in the decision making of social policies around the world, and that this tidal wave is now crossing over to the Asia–Pacific region as well. Education policy, as one of the important social policies for many developing countries, has been influential in the forefront of national development in terms of manpower training, as well as in other arenas of economic and social developments. In this way, these countries are trying to improve the quality of their educational services so that they can be more competitive in order to cater for the demands in the international markets. One of the outcomes of this global trend is the international quality assurance movement in streamlining the educational institutions as well as in using different coping strategies to promote quality education for all concerned. For the Chinese mainland, it seems that the central government is adopting a policy of decentralisation in getting local governments to use multiple channels of resources and other methods to provide for their own educational services. Hong Kong as a Special Administrative Region (SAR) of China, however, has adopted quite a different approach by employing the principle of managerialism in order to enhance its competitiveness in providing quality education to meet the increasing market demands. Hence, the present study is to compare and contrast the educational reforms and coping strategies that have been adopted by the socialist mainland, on the one hand, and the capitalist Hong Kong SAR, on the other hand, in order to face this new challenge of marketisation.



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This is a revised version of the same paper presented to the 1999 Annual Conference of the American Educational Research Association, held on 19–23 April 1999 in Montreal, Quebec, Canada. Access to external full text or publisher's version may require subscription.

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Chan, D., & Mok, K.-H. (2001). Educational reforms and coping strategies under the tidal wave of marketisation: A comparative study of Hong Kong and the mainland. Comparative Education, 37(1), 21-41. doi: 10.1080/03050060020020417